Day 3: The Inward Journey: Setting up a meditative environment.If you do what your Irish Mammy says, you will always find your way home.
Some people believe that they cannot meditate because they do not have a special space or room for meditation. In reality, few of us can afford such luxury
There are some who carry mini-peaceful environments around with them from place to place. This usually consists of a meditation cushion or stool, special clothes or blanket, candles, incense, flowers and semi-precious stones.
I am including this photograph of us last year meditating in The Dhyana Vanem Ashram in India, not for you to say, wow I could never do that or, never go there, but rather to highlight the reverse.
In other words such pictures can be counterproductive because they focus on such external activities which is distracting us from the important work of stilling the mind and getting in touch with what really matters.
Getting in touch with the real Me
That Me does not have to travel anywhere.
That Me is where I am right now, at this moment in time.
I am where I am meant to be.
All I have to do is become absolutely still.
Note to self
OK, now that we have established that important detail, let us return to setting up a therapeutic meditative environment so that we can gradually slow our bodies down to eradicate black noise.
When setting up your meditative environment, as far as possible, try to avoid the risk of interruptions during a session, but if they do occur, attend to them and try to avoid annoyance towards those who caused the disturbance. Strong feelings of this nature are counter-productive to the practice.
Instead of trying to lock yourself away in a room to meditate, relax and let it happen without expectation about what ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ happen. If it doesn’t work out, try again later.
If it is impossible for you to take the phone off the hook, answer it when it rings. Give the person at the other end your full attention and return to the practice at a later time. Better still, get someone else to answer it for you and return the call at a later time.
At times, when meditating, you will hear noise outside. Unless it is something that needs your immediate attention, ignore it and continue with the practice. If your mind wanders off, don’t chastise yourself, simply bring it back without reprimand and start concentrating again. I believe that it is easier to deal with outside distractions, than the distractions in your mind.
The principle for dealing with all distractions remains the same. Once you notice that your mind has wandered off — and it will, particularly in the beginning — gently take it back, without rebuke, to the work at hand.
Homework assignment until next week’s post
Permit yourself the opportunity to discover the REAL ME.
All you have to do is this.
For 3 to 5 minutes every morning and evening:
Allow your mind to settle by totally concentrating on the following breathing exercise.
- Bring your attention to the rise and fall of your chest, as you breathe in and out through your noise.
- Slow your breathing down by inhaling deeply to the count of 1, 2.3, 4.Then exhale to the count of 1, 2.3, 4.
- Gradually deepen your breathing as far as you can by increasing the count to 1, 2.3,4,5,6, and so forth until you reach 1, 2.3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10.
- Continue this breathing up to 10 breath.
- Return to normal breathing in and out through your nose allowing your mind to settle on the rise and fall of your chest.
- If your mind wanders gently bring it back to the breathing and resume the practice.
You are learning to be still and at peace and this takes time, practice and loads of patience. Be easy with yourself and don’t expect anything.
Give yourself the space to experience a practice that is different, not an instant quick fix .Forget about all the things you have to do and enjoy the moment.